SARASOTA, Fla. (Dec. 04, 2018) – Tens of thousands of copies of Dr. Wilma Davidson’s book, Business Writing: What Works, What Won’t, have been distributed across the United States and Canada, but now a vast new market is emerging thanks a deal to bring the work to Chinese booksellers.
First published in 1994 and revised in 2001 and 2015, the USF Sarasota-Manatee professor’s book has become a steady-selling, how-to guide for college students, business executives and anyone else who wants to master the art of business writing.
Then last year, Taiwan-based Heliopolis Culture Group approached Dr. Davidson’s publisher, St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan Publishers in New York, about printing the book in traditional Chinese, potentially opening a huge untapped market. It was released this spring, in time for the Taipei International Book Exhibition.
“Of course, I was honored and thrilled that they approached us for international rights,” said Dr. Davidson, an instructor of professional and technical writing in the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at USFSM. “They told us they wanted to offer the book to people in the business world, so they can benefit from the ideas in the book on how to compose effective business correspondence. After all, English is the language of business.”
She recently received copies of the translated work. She says the version is faithful to the original text except in instances where illustrations were dropped to allow side-by-side English-to-Chinese translations of business letters. The book also contains examples of well-written memos, reports and other business documents as well as practical business writing tips.
Davidson is hoping for strong sales in the large Asian market, which could depend on promotion and how the book is mass-marketed there. Almost 50,000 copies of her three editions have sold in North America. The book currently retails for $19.99 in the United States with a digital version as well.
“I’m just so gratified that the book is getting attention globally,” she said. “I’ve spent my professional life studying why and how people write, and while I may never get them to love writing, I do get them to hate it less.”